Photo Contest Winner Al Whitaker's Springtime Shot

The early bird catches the photo.
This photo won second place in the Wildlife category in the 2013 Lens on Lake Minnetonka photo contest.

It’s that time of year again when we stop our car on a busy highway to allow our feathered friends to waddle across the road: The geese are back.

Al Whitaker, 25-year Shorewood resident and amateur photographer, got up early one morning, packed his camera and ventured down to Excelsior in hopes he could capture these traffic-halting goslings at the right time.

“If you approach goslings when they’re too young, the parents will protect them and chase away anything nearby,” Whitaker says. He chuckles. “I’ve been chased away with my tripod and camera in hand on numerous occasions.”

Whitaker loves his hobby. “It’s a great outlet to get out there and look for beauty in nature. All the daily issues kind of fade away.”

Whitaker started dabbling in photography in the 1970s and then fell away from it, as developing photos and fixing the mistakes became too much work. Then, in 2010, the digital capabilities caught his attention once more and he rekindled his love for the camera, in this case, an Olympus E620.

A member of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Photographers Society, Whitaker often photographs landscapes, occasionally selling some of his work.